Transmedia Storytelling (storytelling) is a specific kind of narrative. In this, the creators of the plot originally lay “white spots” for “thinking” of the story by the audience. The narrative extends across several media platforms. Each of them complementing the fictional world of history and giving the viewer a new immersive experience in the story. As Jeffrey Long rightly points out, transmedia, in this case, should be seen as an adjective. A way of storytelling characterized by a cross-border, spreading to different platforms by the method.
The first use of Transmedia Storytelling
The term “transmedia storytelling” was first used in media studies by M. Kinder, a professor at the University of Southern California, in 1991. Kinder analyzed stories for children who, through different media platforms, generated new levels of interaction with children. And mentioned “the intertextual relationships of different narratives and transmedia intertextuality distributed among television, film, and toys.”
However, the term “transmedia” was coined by Henry Jenkins in 2003. Jenkins noted that a large number of media platforms are fighting for the viewer’s attention. And the viewer’s time is limited, so manufacturers should create a new model of collaborative creativity.
Three years later, the concept of transmedia was supplemented by him as telling stories on several media platforms. Each of which makes a unique contribution to the narrative to create a single universe of history. And that is the definition we use today. The author of the transmedia project creates a universe of history. These are the rules by which it functions, and the stories that develop between the main and secondary characters; tell a plot of the past, present, and future.
Related elements of history are distributed across different platforms to create a single, programmable experience of history. At the same time, the content for each platform does not adapt but becomes somewhat of an extension, which expands the understanding of the original. For example, “Hamlet” extensions can be built around secondary characters. Ideally, each medium, using its strengths, makes a unique contribution to the narrative. Thus enriching the viewer’s experience and engaging the user in the world of history and serving as a point of entry into the fictional world.
Use of transmedia Storytelling in Movies and comics
K. Solara called transmedia a special narrative structure that expands through different languages and platforms (media, movies, comics, video games). He also noted the great importance of building a “universe of history” for the transmedia project. The content does not adapt to each platform, but is unique and reveals the plot in new faces. Kenna also emphasized that the universe of history should unfold on different platforms, and D. Long called transmedia “the art of the worlds.”
Transmedia projects can be retroactive. In this case, they are repelled from a source (book, film), then overgrown with further extensions, transferred to other platforms. Or created as transmedia and then considered proactive. An example of a retroactive transmedia project is the HBO TV series “Game of Thrones.”
A case in point is the Iron Sky project, which focused on a film. The Film was about the Nazi landing on the moon (then a computer game the community website was developed). The main partitive element of this project was crowdfunding. (16% of the budget of the picture – 1.2 million euros – by 2006 was collected by fans). And crowdsourcing (the team of the film turned to the audience for advice in search of references for computer graphics and the plot of the film).
It is noteworthy that the work on the film and the project as a whole began six years. And that is before the filming with the creation of a loyal online community of fans. Before “Iron Sky,” the filmmakers for more than ten years filmed parodies of “Star Trek,”. This built around the idea of the invasion of the Nazis from the moon. That was a giant Internet community, and with it developed the project for six years – from 2006 to 2012. As the project’s director, Tim Vuorensola, pointed out, first it was necessary to give the audience an interesting story. That would captivate them, and only then to ask for her participation in the project.
Due to the recent appearance in the scientific environment, transmedia, as a specific kind of media product is not there accurately enough. Different researchers put forward different sets of traits and types of transmedia projects.